Bill introduced in Utah Legislature to save the Great Salt Lake

Jan 25, 2022, 5:34 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:59 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — The Great Salt Lake is in crisis mode and we need to act now. That’s the message behind a new bill on Utah’s capitol hill that is meant to preserve the largest lake west of the Mississippi River and it’s right in our own backyard. 

According to those who track the lake’s water levels, the 1,700 square mile lake has hit a historic low. 

“The Great Salt Lake is in a serious crisis that is impacting all Utahns,” said Zachary Frankel the executive director of the Utah Rivers Council a non-profit organization that is backing the new bill. 

He said the lake creates a $1.3 billion economy by providing more than 7,000 jobs, brings in millions of birds from across the world every year, and is crucial for our air quality.

“This bill is the only framework being offered today to offer a substantive way to protect the future of the Great Salt Lake for everyone,” he said. 

The new bill which is still being numbered is sponsored by Republican State Representative Doug Sagers from Tooele.  

It was modeled after the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan, but this proposal creates a four-tier system where fees would be imposed for secondary water companies based on the water level. 

“Instead of cutting water use, we are utilizing the free market to keep water levels at the Great Salt Lake higher, we impose fees,” said Frankel who said he knows of no other bills right now that compete with his.  

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Bill introduced in Utah Legislature to save the Great Salt Lake